Claude Puel wants the Leicester City project, as he “didn’t come here just for some games and to try to save the club”.
Despite the 3-1 win over Arsenal on Wednesday, the Foxes’ first since 1994, the Frenchman is under a lot of pressure because of how bad his side have been in the last two months or so.
Leicester’s win in midweek was their first at home since the 2-0 victory against Watford on January 20, and only their fifth in 20 Premier League games.
However, Claude Puel is not ready to admit that his time at Leicester City is over yet. The 56-year old has led the East Midlands outfit to only their second top 10 finish in nearly two decades, and that, he believes, is a start to the project that he desperately wants to oversee at the King Power Stadium.
Speaking ahead of the final game of the season against Tottenham Hotspur, he said:
“We will see if it is possible or not but I have a good feeling because it is the most important thing for the club,” said the 56-year-old, who replaced Craig Shakespeare in October.
“I didn’t come here just for some games and to try to save the club. I want the project, I want to work to develop the play and the squad.
“For example we have finished ninth or maybe eighth but we have finished in the top 10 only two times for 18 years.
“This is a fact. This club needs consistency and to develop something strong, with solidity and strength. This needs time and we need also to work hard in the summer in the transfer window.
“We need to improve this team and develop some good players also. We will see the results next season.
“It is important to understand this and to have a good consistency in our work during the difficulties. A manager needs to keep the way in all conditions.”
While there have been some dark days under Claude Puel, it’d be unfair on him were he to be judged merely by the lacklustre displays towards the end of the 2017/18 season.
As has been stressed upon before, the former Southampton manager is trying to do what has never been done at Leicester City before, i.e., trying to give them an identity by the style of football.
City aren’t really used to playing proper football, and now that they are being coached to do so, it’s obvious that there will be some disappointments along the way.
Also, Puel’s focus since day one of his job has been on developing the youth at the club – and he hasn’t really failed at that. If he’s sacked, Leicester City may have to start all over again, and who knows if it may get even worse. A managerial change doesn’t always guarantee progress, mind you.